Subjunctive Tension
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Subjunctive Tension
(Ken Ficara) Licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Creative Commons License

Ken Ficara: Harmonica, percussion, loops

Recorded on Green Street, live to two-track

The tense of a verb usually refers to the time at which something happened -- present tense, future tense, past tense. The subjunctive tense is for things that didn't happen. It's often defined as "a condition contrary to fact," and speaking in the subjunctive is a way to express doubt or a wish. Sentences beginning "If I were..." ...." or "I wish I could..." are in the subjunctive. (Grammarians will point out that the subjunctive isn't really a tense, but a case or a mood. If I were deeply concerned about the technicalities of grammar, I would have titled this piece differently).

So this piece is about the tension you feel when you make one choice over another, when you commit to something and leave the rest for "If I had..." considerations. It's an important and in fact creative tension, but it's not necessarily fun or pretty.

It combines microphone percussion (run through a distorted delay), harmonica run through a different kind of delay as well as a filter, all into several overlapping loops.